Credit cards have long been known as an instrument that provides financial safety to its holders. Banks/financial institutions provide credit to their users to help them meet their current expenses with the benefit of paying later.
As important as they are, it is equally important to be careful of the credit cards when you have one. If not handled properly, credit cards can turn into one of the most risky financial instruments, instead of being one of the safest.
Even though banks offer credits to their users through a credit card, they also ask for something in return. After every billing cycle that is complete, credit card holders have to repay the credit amount of the previous month. If any user fails to do so within the given time period, he/she will have to bear high interest on the outstanding balance. More so, if a user fails to do so for a longer period of time, he/she may be blacklisted and the credit card may be deactivated. Hence, it is important to clear all your credit card dues well in time to avoid the consequences of being a credit card defaulter.
Now, the question is, how will you be able to check your monthly credit card bills and how can you track your expenses?
‘Credit Card Statement’ is the answer!
What is a Credit Card Statement?
A credit card statement is basically a billing document that contains the details of all purchases, payments, credit and debit transactions of a credit card holder. These statements are issued to the user at fixed intervals and are known to contain all the required information in complete detail. Since a credit card statement has all the required information for the card holder, it is important to read the statement thoroughly in order to keep a detailed track of the expenses made through the previous billing cycle.
What Information does a Credit Card Statement Contain?
A credit card statement has the following information in complete detail-
|Under the section, ‘Statement of XYZ’ (Name of the Credit card holder)||Payment due date|
Minimum amount due
Available credit limit
Available cash limit
|Account Summary||Opening balance|
|Past Dues (if any)||Overlimit|
Minimum amount due
|Reward Points Summary||Opening Balance|
|Offers on your Credit Card||Explained, if any|
|Other Important Information||Explained, if any|
Important Terms You Must Know
Let’s take a look and understand the meanings of some of the important terms in a credit card statement-
- Payment Due Date– Every credit card holder is bound to settle the outstanding balances within a specific time period which is pre-decided by the credit card issuer. The last date by which payment can be made, without any additional charges/late fee is called the payment due date.
- Minimum Amount Due– If the total credit card balance becomes overwhelming for the credit card holder to pay at once, he/she can pay a part of the total outstanding balance. This minimum amount out of the total bill, which must be paid mandatorily is known as the minimum due. In such cases, the credit card holder will have to pay an additional interest on the outstanding balance and his late fee charges will be waived off.
- Credit Limit– Credit limit refers to the maximum amount which a credit card holder can spend on a credit card. The credit limit is set up by the credit card issuer, depending upon various factors such as the credit card holder’s monthly income, credit worthiness, etc.
- Current Outstanding Balance– At any point in time, there is an amount that the credit card holder is liable to pay to the bank. This total amount of money is called the current outstanding balance. The outstanding balance is calculated on the basis of the user’s previous month’s expenses on the credit card.
- Billing Cycle– The time period between the issuance of two different bills of a particular credit card refers to the credit card billing cycle. The billing cycle is determined by the banks/credit card issuers and varies between 20 and 45 days.
- Transaction History– As suggested by the term itself, the transaction history is the record of all transactions made by the credit card holder using the particular credit card. The transaction history is basically a detailed record of all transactions and can be accessed by the credit card holder at any point in time.
- Rewards and Rebates– Credit card holders get a chance to earn reward points upon using their credit card for transactions. These reward points can be used by the credit card holders to get some attractive gifts/vouchers from the bank.
How to Get Your Credit Card Transaction History?
Users can get their credit card statements through both, online and offline mediums. Here’s how-
Get Credit Card Statement Online
To get your online credit card statement, you simply need to log in to your internet banking account. After logging in, you find the basic details of your credit card such as available credit, minimum amount due, unbilled amount, next due date, recent balance, etc. right in front of you. You can also download a PDF of this detailed statement.
Get Credit Card statement Offline
All banks send the credit card statements of their customers to their registered postal address as soon as the statement gets issued. However, since postal transfers are not so reliable, it is advised that you go through the online method to get your credit card statement so that you don’t miss any payments to avoid any late credit card payments.
Why is it Important to Get a Credit Card Statement?
Through this entire blog, we’ve been learning about what is a credit card statement and how you can get one. Now, the question that arises is why is it actually so important to check your credit card transaction history. The following reasons are your answer-
- Credit card statement is an elaborated summary of your monthly expenses. These expenses help you understand where you’ve spent unnecessary money and from where you can save a penny. This, eventually, lets you plan your monthly budget in a much better way
- Users can get a detailed record of their monthly expenses as the comfort of their home
- Credit card statements are available free of cost so it does not harm you to get one
- Credit card statements offer additional information about the new products and services provided by your bank
- Users can keep a track of and earn from the rewards and rebates made available to them by their banks through a credit card statement
What should you do if there are Errors in your Credit Card Statement?
If you find any errors in your credit card transaction history, here’s what you should do-
- Inform the merchant or the bank immediately
- Keep all your credit card statements and other related documents ready to be presented
It is evident that a credit card statement might be too exhaustive for a user to read, considering the detailed information that it contains. Hence, the credit card statement is divided into various sections and subsections, which highlight all the credits and debits to the account and the additional charges levied on them, if any. While it is less likely to happen, it is still possible that your credit card bill may be more than the actual expenses that you’d have made. Hence, it is absolutely essential to go through the components of a credit card statement with a close eye to check if it is actually true to the expenses that you’d have made.